The organization stated that the European Space Agency (ESA) will start searching for new astronauts from March Monday. This is the first time since 2008 that the European Space Force is looking for new recruits. A special track will also be opened for astronauts with a physical disability, the Parastronaut Feasibility Project. It is still not known exactly what this process will look like.
From March 31 to May 28, 2021, aspiring astronauts can register with the European Space Agency. A major recruitment campaign begins on February 16th. After May 28, a large-scale selection process consisting of six rides will begin, and in October 2022 it must be clear which Europeans will be traveling into space.
“We want to represent all of our community,” said David Parker, Director of Human and Robot Exploration at the European Space Agency. For example, the European Space Agency aims at a diverse group of new astronauts, and the world’s first project for aspiring astronauts with a physical disability has also been launched.
What the Feasibility Project will look like remains unknown, but according to Parker, the world is “ready”.
The last selection round was in 2008
A recent selection tour included German Alexander Gerst, Italian Samantha Cristoforetti and Frenchman Thomas Pesquet. The Dutch European Space Agency chose André Kuibers in 1998.
In the spring of 2021, French astronaut Besquette will become the first European to take a seat in the commercial astronaut capsule of the space company SpaceX. This capsule brought astronauts for the first time to the International Space Station in May 2020, becoming the first commercial spacecraft to do so.